|Dragonfire 4: Covenant|
Thanks to a mysterious covenant, Byrne Tregaron and Livia Hazac will be bonded for life. Livia is getting the mate of her dreams, a dragon who doesn't know she exists.
Byrne is getting a mate he doesn't want, but he can't break the covenant without shaming his clan. Byrne is spending his last night as an unmated dragon his way, a blowout last-hours-of-freedom party.
Livia is aware that Byrne doesn't want a Hazac for a mate and for him keeping the covenant is a matter of honor, not desire. She has one shot to capture her dragon on her terms. She attends Byrne's party with seduction in mind.
One night. Her way.
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Excerpt for Dragonfire 4: Covenant
Phaya Hazac Thornkill eyed the two lawyers entering her living room. Both in their early sixties and dressed in dark suits, the two men were the legal counsels for their respective clans. Oren Tregaron represented the Tregaron dragons and Armont Hazac the Hazac dragons.
Phaya was two weeks shy of her one hundredth birthday, and her legs were too weak for her to walk. Seated in her favorite chair, she let the lawyers come to her.
"Thank you for coming. Please, make yourselves comfortable."
The lawyers settled into chairs and refused her offer of refreshments, telling Phaya both were eager to get to the business at hand.
Amber eyes bright with interest, Armont leaned forward. "I speak on behalf of the Hazac clan council. We're very interested in your proposal."
Tregarons were distrustful of Hazacs and Oren was more cautious. "My council is willing to consider your offer."
Oren's silver hair gleamed in the glow of the lamplight and his eyes were the same unusual blue-green color as Drasen Tregaron's.
"You look like your grandfather," Phaya said, recalling the handsome dragon that long ago had been the object of her affection. Although decades had passed, memories of love, pain and anger still resided in Phaya's failing heart.
Oren smoothed the perfect crease on his charcoal gray pants, then centered his gaze on Phaya. "I've often been told of the resemblance."
Phaya wondered if Oren knew about her love affair with Drasen. Old history. Old wounds. She'd had a good life.
"Your proposal was vague. Can you illuminate us?" Oren asked.
Her proposal had mentioned an offer of gold in exchange for a favor.
"My offer is a twenty percent interest to each clan in the Draca Creek gold mine."
Phaya adjusted the warm throw covering her legs and let her lucrative and unexpected offer hang in the air.
Armont's eyes sparkled. "Your birth clan is honored by your offer."
Oren said nothing, but his gaze searched her face.
Draca Creek was an untapped gold mine and Phaya was offering a prize worth many millions of dollars. Dragons would do just about anything for gold. Deals and alliances were made despite the painful, personal consequences such agreements might inflict. Phaya had firsthand knowledge of the price exacted.
Oren cleared his throat. "Will the Thornkill clan have an ownership share?"
Phaya had inherited Draca Creek from her deceased mate and his clan had all but demanded she relinquish her rights to the unmined gold.
She smiled at Oren. Her heart might be failing, but Phaya's mind was still sharp. "Not if we three come to an agreement and your councils sign a covenant."
Oren didn't return her smile. "What are your terms, Mrs. Thornkill?"
"A bonding between a member of each of your clans."
"As long as the member isn't promised, I don't see a problem," Armont said.
As Phaya well knew, any promise could be broken if the price was right. Her heart was shattered for ten thousand pieces of gold offered to Drasen Tregaron's father eighty years ago. But covenants were never broken without dire consequences to the offending clan.
"Do you have a member in mind?" Oren asked.
"I do," Phaya said. "Your grandson, Byrne."
Oren stiffened, his relaxed posture vanishing in a heartbeat.
"At the conclusion of the bonding ceremony, Byrne will receive a quarter interest in Draca Creek and his parents will receive a five percent interest."
Oren's eyes widened.
Phaya let the offer sink in. She'd just made Byrne a multi-millionaire.
"And the Hazac female?"
As expected, Armont was champing at the bit.
Phaya saw recognition light in Armont's eyes, then a flicker of puzzlement as to why she'd chosen a female without a dowry or a college education as the mate for Byrne Tregaron, a dragon from one of the richest families in the area.
Livia wasn't a relative, just a young woman who while flying over one day happen to see Phaya fall in her garden. She'd landed and helped Phaya into a chair. They'd struck up a conversation and over the years the friendship had grown. Livia visited every Wednesday afternoon and had never missed a birthday. The girl had shared her dreams and warmed Phaya's heart with her laughter.
Phaya had learned of Livia's love for Byrne Tregaron and the girl's heartache. Because of Livia's clan affiliation, the handsome Tregaron would never give her a second glance. Phaya had lost the love of her life, but she could give Livia hers.